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Research project

Childhood stuttering and structural brain morphology

Status: ongoing

The Generation R Study is an ongoing population-based prospective birth cohort investigating children’s development from fetal life onwards (n=9901). In brief, pregnant women with an expected delivery date between 2002 and 2006 living in Rotterdam were eligible for participation. Mothers received extensive questionnaires at different time points, and from the age of the child of 5 years onwards, all participants were invited to the research center to undergo various physical examinations, measurements, and MRI-scans. The department of Otorhinolaryngology is involved in this cohort study with various pediatric research topics, including music-induced hearing loss, acute otitis media, and developmental stuttering.

What we do

About our project

Our motivation for this research

Stuttering is a neurodevelopmental speech production disorder that originates in early childhood with typical age of symptom onset between 2 to 5 years. Most affected children recover within 2-3 years after onset. So far, the pathophysiology of developmental stuttering and its possible neuro-anatomical origins are still unclear.

Our aim

There is need for more pediatric neuroimaging studies investigating the associations between stuttering in early childhood and brain development. Therefore, we aim to validate and extend the findings of prior research in the association of stuttering and structural brain morphometry so that these findings are contributed toward understanding the brain morphometry of stuttering.

How we will perform this research

Our study is part of the Generation R neuroimaging sub study (n=4000). We explore and compare specific speech production brain regions in children who persist in stuttering to children who start out stuttering but eventually recover, and to peers who speak normal fluent (n=500).

Our is the desirable outcome

This is the first neuroimaging study investigating childhood stuttering in a large birth cohort, which is well suited to study neurodevelopmental disorders. This provides an unique opportunity to explore brain development in a large group of young children at an age close to the onset of stuttering. 


Collaborations within Erasmus MC

  • Department of Child and Adolescent Radiology and Psychiatry (in the Generation R Study)

Collaboration outside Erasmus MC


Our team

  • S.P.C. (Simone) Koenraads MD
  • M.C. (Marie-Christine) Franken PhD
  • M. (Marc) van der Schroeff MD PhD